GARNER Arts Center A Non-Profit Center for Visual & Performing Art Experiences GARNER Arts Center is located 35 miles from Manhattan in the lower Hudson Valley within the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center, an historic 19th century textile mill. GARNER provides unique and vibrant performance, gallery and creative space and presents artistic programs of exceptional merit for the benefit of a multi-cultural population. It is our mission to preserve the sanctity of the original textile mill buildings and creekside landscape, while offering an inspired setting which honors individual expression.
GARNER Arts Center’s vision is to build an enduring artisan community around this unique venue that supports the arts, attracts patrons and enriches and educates the public.
The Garnerville Terminal – A Brief History
1760 – Grist mill owned by Cornelius Osborn operates on the Minisceongo Creek waterfall. 1830 – John Glass purchases 45 acres along Railroad Avenue and builds first textile mill making calico print. 1831 – Mr. Glass and 13 others killed in shipboard explosion. 1838 – Plant is purchased by the Garner brothers and expanded, now employing more than 800 people. 1853 – Textile mill is making 11 million yards of cloth per year. Workers homes & surrounding village named Garnerville 1860 – Civil War. Rockland Print Works manufactures uniforms for the Union Army of the North. 1915 – Textile mill now producing 1.6 million yards of cloth per week. Rockland Print Works literally owns the village, from the streetlights to the private police force. 1929 – The Great Depression begins. The textile mill closes. Buildings abandoned, machinery sold and moved. 1934 – William Larkin and 39 local businessmen purchase the complex with the help of a $150,000 loan from FDR’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation. 1940 – World War II. Uniforms made for American soldiers. 1950 – United Wire Goods Company is the first to start hiring Puerto Rican and Dominican workers. 1980 – Textile industry gone. Light industry moves in. 2001 – First Garnerville Arts Festival attracts 1000 visitors.
2003 – Arts Center is founded. 2007 – CREEKSIDE opens. 2008 – Arts Center becomes 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization. 2009 – ‘Encounters with the Arts’ educational programs begin. 2010 – 10th Annual Arts [and Music] Festival draws 5000 visitors. 2011 – Hurricane Irene destroys Garner’s Main Gallery, Arts Center is temporarily closed. 2012 – GARNER Arts Center reopens; work begins on Building #35 restoration project; the Preservation League of New York State names Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center as one of its Seven to Save historic sites and grants the first Technical Assistance Grant for the restoration of Building #35.
2013 – New York State Historic Preservation Office lists Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center on the State Historic Register of Historic Places as the “Rockland Print Works Historic District”. Click to view the full National Register Nomination(History section begins on Page 11).
The Lower Hudson Valley’s Premier Arts Festival – Garnerville, New York
Open Artist Studios & Demonstrations –Art Exhibits – Live Music – Crafts Bazaar- Children’s Workshops – Film – Dance – Creekside Sculpture Park – Delectable Foods – Organic Coffee Bar
“This event is like no other art exhibition,” says Garner President Robin Rosenberg. “Our complex of mill buildings houses 10,000 square feet of gallery space, and is the living, breathing, working home where artists create their art for a living. The public gets a chance to see the open studios and live demonstrations of a variety of artisans, while wandering the back alleys, alcoves and creekside sculpture trail of this historic, Civil War-era textile mill. GAGA Arts Festival has become a hot destination, drawing nearly 5000 visitors from the tri-State region including more and more who make the short journey up the Hudson from NYC.
The Garnerville Industrial Center was built along a beautiful stretch of the Minisceongo Creek. But as the textile industry moved away in the mid 1900’s, the waterway fell into neglect. It was a junk heap.
In 2007 an email was sent out to all tenants with one question: “Would anyone help clean it up?” Two years, hundreds of hours of volunteer labor later, [with many thanks to the committment & the heavy equipment of landscape designer Lance Kehoe & woodworker Rick Johnson] our creekside has not only been cleaned up, it is delightful!
GARNER’s Encounters with the Arts programs are unique educational experiences designed to open the world of art to students of all ages through hands on exploration, utilizing the vast wealth of artistic knowledge and professional expertise available at GARNER from our resident artists.
Whether touring art exhibitions with the artists, or the Creekside Sculpture Park with master gardeners, or just imagining the 150 years of American history in and around the 18th century architecture, students are invited to soak in the aesthetic experience.
Artists’ workshops run by painters & sculptors, woodworkers & metalsmiths, film makers & photographers can be another part of their arts encounter.
Or better still– students can be given the time and space to discover something about themselves and do their own creating in an environment of artistic exploration.